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Autism - Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind

❶I am desparately looking for support. They have "breadth" but do not have "depth"; or they can plan ahead a step or two and naturally bother to predict others intentions or potential reactions, however, they don't have much emotional depth.

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Do people with autism truly lack empathy?
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I have just broken the grip of Narcassism from my 21 year old son, that he got from his mother despite my best efforts. Autistic people are beautiful to be around. In fact I would go as far as to say this. Empathy that will absolutely get them the best out of everything they ever do. I have been writing down some of my thoughts lately and think I might have a book or something in me. I've written so many pages. Sorry back to the point.

I think I might be real close to having a way to explain Empathy in a way that can be easily taught. Initially I was thinking save the world. But only for a second. Then I tried to think of practical applications for it in things I had come across during years of Fostering, and that was Autism. Also having a baby girl 20 years ago with placenta previa, couldnt bother looking up spelling.

She's fine and studying Business and Law and doing well in case your're interested. I wouldn't mind talking to any professionals that might find it useful to them.

I do rave on when I haven't had a chat for a while with someone. You said you had a baby girl 20 years ago and she was placenta previa. Was she diagnosed with AS? Very appropriate for the discussion.

If I had not read the article prior to listening to this, I would not have understood it as well. Picking up this thread again may be of interest. Either that points to a very widespread difficulty amongst NTs in understanding others' feelings and motivations, or it means that many more of us are on the autistic spectrum.

Lou believes that reading self-help books is an indication that NT's are also lacking in their development. True to a point -NT's are born without a genetic impairment. Unfortunately our loved Aspies have been born without the ability to analyse. I keep reading from Aspies that they do feel empathy, but obviously it is different to what a NT would understand. If they do feel empathy, how could my husband watch me drive myself to emergency with chest pains.

Is it the intensity of each 'impairment' that regulates how much one can over-ride the other and allow someone to do this and worse. My husband would have been in his comfortable chair watching his daily dose of tv while my car was negotiating the driveway, so in this case, his over-riding passion tv would have won hands down. When falling and twisting an ankle, he has also looked up from his newspaper another over-riding passion and merely put his head back in his newspaper.

My admonishment had a different reaction three days later when the exact same thing occurred. This time he jumped up and asked if I was ok. Learnt response, not empathy! Following rituals, having time to follow special interests and being regimented are very strong Aspie characteristics. My theory is these, if followed, keep them 'sane' in a confusing world.

Empathy, on the other hand, isn't tangible. It is an emotion and, like trust, isn't understood. At this moment, I still believe it doesn't exist. But I'm open to suggestions and am hopeful that it does because it would certainly give me more peace of mind to have it explained.

I was diagnosed late at 33 with having Bipolar episodes that included NOS hallucinations. Eleven years later I still read and write and spend time with it You are spot on with your insights and I am hoping you will give me your opinion on these things I wrote about last year It is my hope it will be added to the DSM-V, which is now being updated and soon to be published To understand the following is to explore the SID affected individual as I have conceptualized it and to become more acclimated with the knowledge that it is a world of the very extreme for those afflicted.

It is my hope that it will be viewed in the very near future as a novel diagnosis in and of itself and stand alone. Integration is skewed and the mental capacity to filter sensory input is damaged; light, sound, taste, smell and touch are intensified exponentially.

One, some or all senses are heightened and increased, causing abrupt and potentially dangerous physiological--and subsequently--erratic behavior-responses in these people. Other times their levels of awareness are sharply increased and focus is tuned to the point of hypersensitive, giving them the ability to experience anticipatory responses from a hundred different directions.

They may also have an intellectual sensitivity to sequences of numbers, words, colors and shapes and have an incredibly visceral response to arts and music, environment and emotion. They constantly absorb all incoming sensory information and they are overwhelmed. SID can explain the gaps of how one illness can lead to a plethora of subdisorders. Those that experience this respond in the range of everything of being afflicted with catatonic states of non-relating and emotional dysfunction Autism , to potentially explosive and aggressive outbursts psychotic episode as a result of manic overload.

A door banging closed behind you, sounds like a gunshot going off next to their heads to them. They can be repelled by the taste of the soil vegetables were grown in, where you would never notice. A perfume or familiar scent can instantly split their minds into shards and fragments of memory to the point of distraction.

There can also be the sense of smelling things so intensely, that it appears to normal people to be a hallucination. Schizophrenia, PTSD For those with SID, even the lightest touch is--for many of them—painful Autism , for others it creates an almost sexual response that can be disconcerting, uninvited and embarrassing, or worse, they respond with solicitous behavior. Still even more react with a very over-emphasized startle reflex touch, sound, quick movement and are never able to not react that way.

Binding clothes or shoes are impossible for any length of time. Deeply layered music or colors take on a whole new dimension for these individuals. They can be both enthralled and entranced or menaced and agitated Autism, Aspbergers. These are just some examples of what it is like for the SID afflicted. Regardless of the main diagnosis, this disorder would better describe these particular symptoms that seem to infiltrate all major mental illnesses.

The science community tends to identify these sensitivities with the caveat of being the NOS symptoms of the original diagnosis in whatever mental illness is prevalent. The descriptors of the main major mental illnesses have no explanation why these symptoms appear, yet they are across the gamut of diagnoses.

This disorder would bridge that gap and needs to be created. Especially when all the senses of an individual are impacted and they are constantly coping with triggers and the intensities of input of the external and internal world, and nothing else can be accomplished in any given day. That would be an example of a SID diagnosis just plainly, by itself. SID is debilitating in its own respect, never mind dealing with the symptoms of one or more serious mental illnesses.

However, in my view, new therapies can be invented and transferred from across various other treatments. They possess the ability to anticipate and respond to an event before it happens.

Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Autism, Aspbergers. It is by and through this disorder and the construction of SID, that it can further describe and conjunct other illnesses. Without it, the major mental illnesses in and of themselves are inadequate for explanation in these additional symptoms.

I realize this is a very old post, if you do read it, I would like to understand how you were diagnosed. Thank you for everything written here. As someone on the spectrum, this helps clarify a fair amount of confusion I have struggled with most of my life.

What makes you think that these people were NT? Maybe they werent, or not all of them. Tony Attwood on youtube: Could it be Asperger says that it is medical professions that rank first on Asperger personality type Broader Phenotype of Autism , ahead of accountants, IT people and engineers. You had asked why the qualities of people on the spectrum aren't valued more and had mentioned that honesty is better than manipulative tendencies, for example.

The whole of autism is seen through NT eyes. Think about autism spectrum disorders for a moment. What are they known for? Social awkwardness is one of the first things that comes to mind. But, awkward to whom? NTs are made uncomfortable by people on the spectrum. People on the spectrum would have every right to make the argument that NTs make them uncomfortable by expecting that they make overly emotive facial expressions, bodily movements, and vocal tones that aren't natural to them, to evade honesty and beat around the bush, all while attempting to dissect social manipulations being thrown their way.

Compared to all of that, being "socially awkward" is nothing. But, this isn't about what's fair, it's about who the majority is. NTs are the majority, so in a social respect, they decide what's "right. I, for one, value honesty over social manipulativeness and dishonesty.

For me, that's not even a question. My grandmother was actually an extremely frank person. She inadvertently offended a lot of people over the years.

But you never worried where you stood with her, you never worried about ulterior motives or lies. It was pure and honest and simple. Other people's evasiveness, dishonesty, manipulations, and ulterior motives hurt me more than anything "frank" she ever said to me.

And, really, if I was hurt by something true, isn't that saying something? Isn't that saying that I have something to go deal with in myself? Evading that doesn't mean the problem goes away. Maybe that's why we're at this point now where everybody's afraid to say anything to anybody else for fear of offending them?

If people were honest with each other enough to learn that feeling a bit raw when someone's honest with you is a red flag and something to take care of, maybe people would actually deal with their issues instead of filling the world with eggshells for us all to walk on We see all around us "normal" people making serious errors in understanding others, including the rarely-met expectation that your significant other or a friend will understand what you want or what you mean without your having to spell it out.

Articles like this are sorely needed in providing a more nuanced look at what people on the spectrum understand, and showing how very little different from the norm that can be. It is the equivalent of "social chess" -tact, diplomacy, street smarts, self preservation also.

I do not believe it has to do with being particularly insightful or correct in understanding others. It has to do rather with being able to socially multi task, as opposed to being focussed purely upon one's own feelings and perspective.

I also think that those who have any autistic traits of mindblindness can definetly demonstrate a lack of empathy, if just in their focus upon being right rather than upon being kind I also think that the socially savvy, yet narcissistic bully types have a lack of empathy that mirrors that autistic type. They tend to take advantage and use the autistic types as pawns in their social chess game.

They have "breadth" but do not have "depth"; or they can plan ahead a step or two and naturally bother to predict others intentions or potential reactions, however, they don't have much emotional depth. They don't care much. I have a sister who is like this and I was preyed upon as a young adult by a manager who was like this. These types view a person like me solely in the most unflattering light -they assume that because they socially plan ahead that the aspie is somehow purely callous when in fact the aspie has more integrity even if they are socially inept and hyper egocentric.

There's only one mental disease that causes a lessening or complete retardation of emotion and that's depression. And you have no sign of that,your column continues to fascinate me. I think that's a key point, David. AS is NOT a mental disease. It's actually a different brain wiring. It's not a pathology. In fact, I am quite interested that the subject of AS has found a home, generally speaking, within the psychology community.

Isn't this a physiological difference we're talking about? Having thought much about my own brain functioning since the assessment, I have come to a working understanding that conventional psychological tools and techniques are not really that appropriate.

I believe there's a big flaw in this methodology. Psychologists have everywhere latched onto this 'mindblindness' and have proclaimed it as The Problem with us AS people.

Faced with this set of sequential pictures - a conventional psychological test format - I am almost blinded. Too much information, too much 'snow', too much having to keep information in my working memory in a way that the psychologist choses.

Under the pressure of test circumstances, I would say anything to make it stop! In other words, this sort of test proves what the tester wants it to prove. For the most part, it simply shows that my brain does not work like an NT's. I don't believe it demonstrates mindblindness or pathology.

Left to my own devices and neurological processes, I know I'd come up with the correct interpretation. I know my brain well enough by now to understand that it skips around such sequences and gets sidetracked by other incoming data the overwhelming smell of the psychologist's perfume And this is the crucial point: AS brains do not work like NT brains.

Why use NT orientated tests on them then?! The only possible utility would be to demonstrate how 'deficient' a New Guinea person's thinking skills are. I believe my late husband had Asperger's. He was diagnosed as bipolar shortly before he died, but it didn't fit for a lot of reasons. He learned how to get by in life. I'm sure that is why he wasn't diagnosed. But he couldn't learn empathy. He could learn the actions and the behavior of others in similar situations, but he didn't understand what was behind them.

Maybe he did understand that other people had thoughts and feelings that were different from his, but the connection between him and those other thoughts and feelings was missing. He learned how to be in a relationship just as he learned how to have a conversation.

Yes, eventually after he and I had many arguments, he figured out that conversation wasn't a monologue and that he needed to let others speak. But he had no interest in what others had to say. He was only waiting for others to shut up so he could pick up from where he left off. In same way, he simulated the actions of somone in a relationship, but it wasn't reciprocal. I'm sure he felt and experienced love. But it was a selfish kind of love--on his terms, his time frame, with what he was able to give.

The consideration for other's needs or feelings beyond what he experienced did not exist for him. It's my belief that Asperger's and austim is not just another way of being. However, it seems like he may have been a narcissist, the heir of a pathological personality, not someone with AS.

How someone behaves depends on their brain wiring, their upbringing, and life experiences. Narcissism is a disorder of the personality, often influenced by how one is raised; Unlike those with AS, Narcissists can be very socially adept, even manipulative. Wielding a formidable lack of empathy, narcissists are able to use and abuse others. Nevertheless, this lack of empathy is the hallmark of narcissism. Those with AS do not necessarily lack empathy, they merely think on a different level than "normal" people.

I am not a psychologist, however I am dismayed that there is so much controversy over the problem of childhood behavior disorders. Maybe an alternative measure, between rationality and perhaps call it conditionality, might provide better insight into the nature of disorder and how people react to it.

Nowadays public schools emphasize teaching students to think, rather than rote learning. They stress rational methods, to the extent that a successful person is brought up to automatically define the opposite of rationality as irrationality. For example, well-educated people frequently negotiate behavior with their children. They do so because they believe it is never too early to teach rationality.

They offer choices, count to three, and explain the reasons why the child should behave. Many kids have an instinct for reason, and respond very well to that kind of upbringing. I think a conditional child understands the world and other people in terms of people's habits, not their thoughts. Their world is mainly one of stimulus and response, which is why nagging is a reinforcement to them. Their behavior is the stimulus, and the parent's reminders are the response.

They act immature because an infant's viewpoint is entirely conditioning. I suggest parents ought to focus on their habits, train them towards self-control and save the explanations until they are older. The constant argument between disciplinarians and proponents of diagnosis is self-defeating for our society, and especially so for families.

Parents often write, "behavior therapy did not work". Positive behavior support is the prevailing method, and many excellent reasons exist for following it. My hope is that parents who recognize conditionality in a child will have the reason they require to follow methods with more structure and less thinking.

I'm a bit nervous about saying this, but, as a person with Aspberger's who works with two other aspies, in my experience I actually have more problems dealing with my two aspie coworkers then the other staff. My NT coworkers are much faster at figuring out when I'm stressed, annoyed, or not interested. I also find them much easier to read, though to be fair I've spent a lot of time studying body language. The NT co-workers also, after having been informed of my difficulties, tend to be more supportive.

This isn't necessarily evidence of insensitivity though - if I am feeling stressed by something, there's a decent chance that the other aspies are also feeling stressed and so are less able to deal with others. I am often bothered by the fact that in this generation, conditions such as ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, and even Bipolar Disorder seem to be indiscriminately assigned to people without any regard to: Why can't the psychiatric industry just reconcile with the fact that some people have differing perceptions of things, and differing ways of solving problems.

In my professional opinion, I really think there shouldn't be a distinction between Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism. Furthermore, based on this premise, someone CANNOT have Asperger Syndrome unless they have the pronounced neurocognitive or behavioral deviations associated with Autism. Psychiatrists these days seem to operate under the modality that if it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it IS a duck. And so they make diagnoses on the basis of one or two parallel characteristics without considering different explanations.

Furthermore, their psychological evaluations for conditions such as ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, and even Bipolar Disorder which I was misdiagnosed with are deliberately ambiguous such that anyone can fit the description. From my observations, I can honestly say that unless someone has the pronounced neurocognitive or behavioral variations associated with autism, they do not have Asperger Syndrome. Therefore, what is often misconstrued as Asperger Syndrome is often from what I've seen in patients merely a behavioral condition with similarities to Asperger Syndrome.

But unless someone TRULY has an autistic component in the category of social misperception or kinesthetic neurological dysregulation i. I have read reports of a 2-year old child who was thought to be severely autistic at the time he was diagnosed. However, six years later, this same child was observed again and could make eye-contact, hold normal conversations with people, and was very social and active. So these things can be overcome.

I do think, though, that psychiatrists need to exercise considerable discretion in diagnosing patients with Asperger Syndrome, and need to consider the prospect of behavioral explanations before they make the diagnosis. So unless there is a clear autistic component, Asperger Syndrome is a behavioral condition that can be outgrown.

I am reading this article and it gives me a positive outlook to the problem of ADHD. I now have hope that the problem can be overcome. When this adaptation was passed on and used by the children it would have allowed them to create partnerships and their offspring would also have the same trait.

This would allow the gene to become an advantage and therefore be passed on through the generations and continue until the Homo sapiens of today. The ability to imagine can still be used today as a means of attracting a partner.

Theory of Mind also allows us to interact with success with other humans and how to understand how someone is feeling from their actions. With the evidence and explanations provided Theory of Mind is an advantage to modern humans as its adaptive function may be to allow individuals to survive longer and therefore create more offspring with the desirable characteristic to suit the environment into which it is born. This allows the Homo sapiens to continue to survive upon the earth.

References Clegg, H Thomas Eds , Mapping Psychology 2nd ed. Accessed September 15, We will write a custom essay sample on Theory of Mind specifically for you. Leave your email and we will send you an example after 24 hours If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less. Theory of Mind Essay. How to cite this page Choose cite format: How about make it original? Employing a clinical perspective, Kanner as cited in Sachs, was the first to provide a description on the disorder of autism.

However, in the s, Wing as cited in Sachs, applied a cognitive perspective in describing the mental structure of autism. It will further outline empirical evidence derived from the review of two studies, collectively known as false belief tasks.

The Sally-Anne task and the Smarties task, in particular, will be discussed and interpreted in support with the arguing thesis. There is no true causal definition of autism at a biological level, however, autism has been recognised to be a developmental disability affecting cognitive processing Frith, The key behavioural deficits that characterises autism are, the inability to interact in social situations, impairments with comprehending verbal and non-verbal communication and the lack of understanding pretend and imaginative play Wing, , as cited in Sachs, Other behavioural characteristics contributing to the diagnosis of autism are, engagement in repetitive automatic movements and activities, preference to be alone, displays of self-destruction and aggressive behaviour, sensitivity to external stimuli, attacks of anxiety, and some display savant abilities Sachs, ; Frith,

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Theory of mind (ToM) is a specific cognitive ability to understand that other people have different intentions, desires and beliefs to one's own. Theory of mind has been argued to be an innate, potential human ability but requires things such as language, social interaction and experience to develop.

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An overview of Theory of Mind and its role and impacts on student learning in public school education environments is presented. Also presented is a brief look at the current research pertaining to Theory of Mind and its relationship to children and their developmental processes.

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2 1. Introduction. ‘Theory of Mind’ refers to the cognitive capacity to attribute mental states to self and others. Other names for the same . Theory of Mind also allows us to interact with success with other humans and how to understand how someone is feeling from their actions. With the evidence and explanations provided Theory of Mind is an advantage to modern humans as its adaptive function may be to allow individuals to survive longer and therefore create more .

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In brief, having a theory of mind is to be able to reflect on the contents of one's own and other's minds." For many of those with autism or Asperger's, In a research paper. This is called Theory of Mind, or TOM. This theory was first developed to investigate autism and to further understand primates. It was suggested that those who do not posses TOM were the victims of autism. (Tirapu-Ustarroz et. al. ) Other scientists suggest that what separates mankind from primates is that mankind possesses a “species .